Webinar - Andy Towns

  • 23 Mar 2021
  • 2:00 PM

Now You See It, Now You Don't: Industrial Chromism

Chromism refers to reversible color changes in substances triggered by stimuli such as light or heat. These effects are often striking. Commercialising them has not proved easy, but chromic materials can be found in a diverse array of products. This webinar looks at some examples of commercial systems from the perspective of how they are put together and what makes them work. It pays particular attention to the type of reversible color change most successfully exploited by industry: photochromism. Speculation then follows about future developments in chromic materials and whether they may even be superseded.


Andy Towns is an industrial organic chemist, working for the past 20+ years largely on the synthesis and application of substances whose utility relies upon interaction with light. He holds the role of Senior Development Chemist at Arkema UK Ltd's headquarters in northern England, helping to grow the company's photoinitiator business. Since gaining a PhD in applied color chemistry, Andy has enjoyed time employed in the UK, India and South Korea by enterprises relating to coloration, speciality chemicals, personal care, and pharmaceutical intermediates. As well as conventional dyes for textiles, thermopolymers and hair, he has worked on functional colorants, including fluorescents, infra-red absorbers, organic semiconductors, and particularly photochromic dyes. For the last ten years, Andy has been Editor-in-Chief of Coloration Technology

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